Provencal Potato Salad

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Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

This potato salad, typical of Provence, is like the potato portion of a Nicoise salad. You can make it with any smallish new potato, though tiny ones or fingerlings are ideal.

A Dijon vinaigrette is tossed with the cut potatoes when they are still warm, to help the dressing get absorbed. Capers, shallots, garlic, and parsley are tossed in as well.

The salad is best if allowed to sit for several hours, as is just as good two days out as one. So it’s perfect for a make ahead get together.

Provencal Potato Salad

The secret ingredient of the dressing is the anchovy paste. If you are familiar with the bliss that anchovies can bring to a salad dressing, you’ll know why it’s included.

If you are unfamiliar with using anchovies or anchovy paste in salad dressings, I strongly urge you to try it! Believe me, it won’t make your dressing taste like fish. It will just make your mouth smile when you taste it.

Provencal Potato Salad Recipe

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  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6 to 8

You can save time by prepping the ingredients and making the vinaigrette while the potatoes are cooking.

The vinaigrette should be mixed with the potatoes while they are still warm, so the potatoes better absorb the dressing.

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs small waxy potatoes or fingerling potatoes, cut in half or quartered
  • Salt
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 Tbsp capers
  • 1/4 cup green olives, sliced

Dressing ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp sherry vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon herbes de provence
  • 1 teaspoon anchovy paste (1 to 2 anchovies, mashed)
  • 1 Tbsp minced shallot
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

Method

1 Boil the potatoes: Place the potatoes in a large pot, cover with cold water. Add 2 teaspoons of salt to the water. Bring the water to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook the potatoes until they are just tender when speared with a fork or sharp knife, 7 to 10 minutes depending on the size of the potatoes. Do not overcook. They should be a little firm.

2 Make the vinaigrette: While the potatoes are cooking, prep the other ingredients and make the vinaigrette. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, salt, pepper, herbes de provence, anchovy paste, shallot, and Dijon mustard. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil whisking the whole time to create an emulsion.

3 Toss warm cooked potatoes with vinaigrette: When the potatoes are ready, strain them from the pot. In a large bowl toss the still warm potatoes with the vinaigrette, garlic, parsley, capers and green olives.

4 Chill:  Chill for a couple of hours. Let come to room temperature to serve.

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Provencal Potato Salad

Showing 4 of 16 Comments

  • Jennifer M

    Best potato salad ever! Perfect for a potluck or a cool summer dinner. Leave out the anchovies and it’s completely vegan.

    Thanks much!

  • DK

    Thanks Elise for the reply. Sun dried tomatoes sounds excellent.Yum!

  • DK

    Have these mini potatoes that I have been wanting to use up…Will try this one. Being a vegetarian, I can’t use anchovies..will skipping them make a huge difference or would I have to sub it with something else?

    If you skip the anchovies, I would add some finely minced sun-dried tomatoes. ~Elise

  • Heidi

    This potato salad was a big hit with the family for last night’s dinner. It’s definitely a keeper! Loved the French twist on an old standard. Thanks, Elise for such a great blog.

    You’re welcome! So glad you liked it. ~Elise

  • Eileen

    This salad is awesome! I just made it for lunch and wanted to share that I LOVE it. It is a wonderful, easy and quick recipe for the small new potatoes that I am now getting from my CSA. Thanks!

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